Optimal Control of Open Quantum Systems

  • Li, Xiantao (PI)
  • Van Zalinge, Harm H. (CoI)
  • Farrow, Thomas T. (CoI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


On the technological front, there have been several emerging and exciting developments to understand and utilize systems that exhibit unique quantum properties. Examples include quantum transport, where nano-materials and molecules are central parts of electronic devices, and quantum computing, where the operations of quantum gates are carried out to solve scientific computing problems that are difficult for classical computers. Such quantum properties are often described by a closed quantum system that is isolated from its surrounding environment. But in practice, all quantum systems are open, and the interactions with their environments are inevitable. The interactions often occur continuously and they lead to complicated irreversible quantum dynamics, which also poses a great challenge for the control of the quantum system to carry out specific tasks.

This project will support 2 graduate students and 1 undergraduate student each of the 3 years of the project. This project will develop open quantum models, where the influence of the environment is incorporated implicitly. Several consistency conditions are enforced to ensure the model accuracy so that the reduced model has an accuracy that is comparable to the full dynamics. The model will be combined with an optimal control framework to enable an external control so that the quantum system can retain its quantum properties and perform specific tasks. Robust and efficient numerical algorithms will be constructed to solve the optimal control problem. The overall objective is to develop reliable computational tools, better understand the dynamic properties of open quantum systems, and provide strategies to utilize quantum properties.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date10/1/188/31/24


  • National Science Foundation: $395,391.00


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